Soweto-born illustrator and author Siya Masuku is using his work to teach kids in a fun way. His newly released educational book Siyafunda (“we are learning”) features 25 lively animals for each sound in the isiZulu alphabet.

With there being a lack of books written in local languages for youngsters, and inspired by a conversation with his mother on the need for books at the primary school where she teaches, Masuku decided to create this lovely illustrated alphabet book.

“We have the opportunity to create ideas that can help us progress and learn from one another by using this tool called language effectively,” Masuku told
Design Indaba.

He says that, as a child, he struggled with certain pronunciations and with being able to differentiate between the q, c and x plosive sounds in isiZulu.

Last year, Masuku launched a crowdfunding campaign to raise money to turn his prints into a book and an interactive website – Masuku has also written an extension of the Siyafunda isiZulu book in the form of a story. He hopes to expand this to an app.

“Evolution happens through gradual and constant change and that is a scary thought for some of us. If we use our creativity constructively, our cultures are likely to evolve for the better. We ought to embrace our diversities and use this as a springboard to spread our ideas.”

The book is for sale at R150 (softcover) at All African Books in Cape Town, DlalaNje in Johannesburg and on